The history of curry in Japan is fascinating. It was introduced by the British during the Meiji era (1868-1912) - the same time that India was under control of the British Raj. Its Japanese name is Kare-Raisu and it's a very popular dish in the repertoire of Japanese home cooks. If you're suitably intrigued, Serious Eats have a great series on Japanese curry.
If you've never tried a Japanese curry, you are really re missing out! To me, it tastes quite different to Indian curries, because the spice blend has different inclusions and proportions of the individual spices.
I've been on a mission to use this curry powder in whatever way possible, it's just that good. I have been using it for a couple of years now to make Japanese Curry Pumpkin Soup, which is out of this world delicious.
And so, I decided to make a salad dish that's perfect for your next barbecue or picnic. The spice flavour is certainly the star of the show, but it's not too dominant all the same.
Make this salad and you will not be sad - promise! It may well be the reason that cold potatoes even exist. The creaminess of the mayo combined with the crunch of the cabbage and of course the Japanese curry spice make for a delicious salad you CAN make friends with.
Just a note on the powder - I use the S&B brand which is a bit hard to track down in Australia. I did have a faithful Amazon mule bring it over to me and then found a Japanese grocer in Sydney was happy to source the powder for me - that's the red tin you see below (the yellow tin is from Amazon US). The powder means I can make the curry recipes gluten free, as the ready made Japanese curry blocks contain gluten.
This salad requires some pre-preparation as this salad is best served chilled. I suggest making it first thing in the morning to chill for lunchtime or making it the night before. Add the red cabbage when ready to serve or it will discolour the salad.
On to the recipe!
Japanese Curried Potato and Egg Salad
- 4 hard or medium-boiled eggs pre-prepared and chilled
- 4 large potatoes peeled and quartered
- Olive oil spray
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Japanese S&B curry powder
- 1/4 cup finely shredded red cabbage and black sesame seeds for garnish
- Prepare the boiled eggs at least a few hours before you plan to have this salad as they are best cold. They are best either medium- or hard-boiled.
- Pre-heat the oven to 230C and prepare the potatoes as described.
- Spray the potatoes with oil and grind salt over them. Bake for 25-32 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Turn the tray at the halfway point and then check them at the 25 minute mark to see how they look.
- Alternatively you can steam or boil the potato pieces if you don't want to use the oven. They will take approximately 15-20 minutes to steam, or 10-15 minutes to boil.
- Once the potatoes are cooked let them cool at room temperature and then transfer, covered, to the refrigerator.
- Once you are ready to prepare the salad for serving, slice the eggs in half lengthwise (and then in to quarters if desired) and shred the red cabbage. Set aside the red cabbage.
- Combine the mayonnaise with the curry powder and a generous pinch of salt, then stir well to fully incorporate.
- Place the egg halves, potatoes, and the curry mayonnaise mix in a mixing bowl and then gently stir to combine, being careful not to break up the eggs.
- To serve, garnish with red cabbage and the black sesame seeds.
- Keep refrigerated for no longer than 2 days.